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‘Once Upon A Time’ Recap: An ‘Outsider’ Shakes Up Storybrooke

Sun, January 20, 2013 10:06pm EDT by Andy Swift 15 Comments
Once Upon A Time Season 2 Episode 11
Courtesy of ABC

Plus, Regina & Cora finally come face to face!

The Jan. 20 episode of Once Upon A Time probably should have been titled Whale’s Anatomy, because the entire hour was basically a weird journey through the complex psyche of Storybrooke’s Dr. Whale (David Anders). As it turns out, his origin isn’t as black-and-white as originally thought — even though it’s literally shown to us in black and white.

In a nutshell, Frankenstein had major family issues. He was always living in his soldier brother’s shadow, and his father didn’t understand his scientific endeavors. Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) offered him tons of gold to teach him how to bring people back from the dead, but when Frankie’s brother caught him trying to dig up a body, he ended up getting shot in the process. Regina (Lana Parrilla) delivered Frankie a heart to give to his brother, but the revival was only mildly successful. (Think Daniel — but worse.)

Haunted by those memories, Dr. Whale was uneasy this week in present-day Storybrooke. And by “uneasy,” I mean wasted. He was about to jump into the sea, but Ruby (Meghan Ory) stopped him and had a nice heart-to-heart. When she told him Regina made her eat her boyfriend, his problems didn’t seem so bad.

And no, she didn’t mean that metaphorically. Remember when Ruby literally ate her boyfriend?

Regina & Cora: Reunited & It Feels So… Awkward

Regina and Cora (Barbara Hershey) also came face to face this week for the first time in years, but their reunion didn’t exactly go as I expected it to. Instead of clashing in a fiery blaze of magical mommy issues, they actually bonded. Cora came clean to Regina about framing her for Archie’s “murder,” then reminded her that turning her over to the townspeople wouldn’t make Henry love her any more. Tears were shed — on both sides of the TV screen.

Rumpelstiltskin & Belle: Strangers In The Night

Now that Belle (Emilie de Ravin) has no idea who she is anymore — thanks a lot, Hook! — Mr. Gold is more desperate than ever before. And after failing to remind Belle of what they once had together, Gold received a surprise visit from Cora. She told him he didn’t need Belle anymore, and that she could help him track down the one person in this world who still loved him: his son, Baelfire! (Who is probably Peter Pan, but I don’t have proof… yet.)

Side note: Was anyone else weirded out when Cora and Rumple kissed like they “used to?” Were these two boning back in the day?! I can’t. I just can’t.

Who Is ‘The Outsider?’

After Dr. Whale drunkenly operated on the mysterious outsider, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) interrogated him to make sure he didn’t see anything suspicious about the town. You know, like anything. He told her he was texting and driving — insert PSA here — and that all he saw was the road, but the minute Emma left the room, he made a sketchy phone call. He does know something!

Also, his ringtone was totally the Star Wars theme song. Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, how long will it be before we start seeing Wookies in Storybrooke?

We’ve got a three-week hiatus on our hands, so let’s start theorizing: What do you make of the mysterious outsider? Were Cora and Rumple really lovers? And do you think Baelfire could also be Peter Pan? Drop me a comment with your thoughts!

— Andy Swift

More Once Upon A Time on

  1. ‘Once Upon A Time’ Recap: Another Murder In Storybrooke
  2. ‘Once Upon A Time’ Preview Video: Is Archie Really Dying?
  3. ‘Once Upon A Time’ Pics: Snow & Charming Celebrate Their Reunion